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Full text of "A history of Persia"

446                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
For a while Baha Ulla acted nominally on the instructions
of the Subh-i-Ezel, but about 1866 he proclaimed himself
as "Him whom God shall manifest" and called upon his
brother to acknowledge his supreme authority. There
was a desperate conflict between the two parties, but Baha
Ulla finally triumphed, only a faithful few clinging to his
brother. In 1868 the Turkish Government decided to
separate the rivals. Subh-i-Ezel was sent to Cyprus,
where he died recently at a great age.1 Baha Ulla was
interned at Acre, and, dying in 1892, was succeeded by
his son. Abbas Effendi, although differences arose between
the new leader and his younger brother, Mirza Mohamed
All. The present head of the religion, who is generally
known as Abdul Baha, or "The Slave of the Splendour,"
has created a much wider sphere for his activities : he
preaches peace and goodwill among men in Europe and
America and is more concerned with ethical than with
metaphysical questions.
Babi Plots and Risings^ 1850-1852. In 1850 the
followers of the Bab attempted to seize the fanatical city
of Yezd,2 but failed and fled to Kerman. A conspiracy was
also formed to assassinate the Amir-i-Ni%am^ but it was
discovered and the conspirators were seized and executed.
Of greater importance was the outbreak in the same year
at Zanjan, a town famous for its goldsmiths' work, to
the west of Kazvin. The chief Mulla had embraced the
new doctrines, and he and his followers seized the city.
Following in the footsteps of the Kharijites, they tortured
to death all prisoners and defied a large Persian army,
buoyed up with the hope that they would soon possess
the entire world. .The siege lasted throughout the
summer, but finally their leader, Mulla Mohamed AH,
was wounded and died, and their stronghold was captured.
Men, women, and children were massacred by the
besiegers.
1  While holding the post of Consul at KLerman I had a correspondence with Subh-i-
Ezel, whose daughter had claims on some property.    He wrote that he renounced all
claims; and it was impossible not to sympathize deeply with the unworldly old man,
deserted by practically all his followers.
2  In 1903 a terrible persecution arose out of a dispute in the bazaar.    Any one who
wished to settle accounts with an enemy denounced him as a Babi and was given a
document signed by the Mujtahid ordering his death.   Awful atrocities were committed.